Since 1901, Orkin Pest Control has helped protect homes and businesses across the country. As part of its 120th anniversary celebration, the Atlanta, Ga.-based company elevated its “Donating Blood Should be Voluntary” initiative with the American Red Cross, an effort that aids the organization in maintaining the U.S. blood supply and protects people against the public health threat of mosquitoes.
Orkin donated a total of $120,000 to the organization, and encouraged the public to pledge to donate blood to the Red Cross through its SleevesUp campaign. The Atlanta chapter of the Red Cross recently honored Orkin with a Good Neighbor Award for its efforts.
Former Orkin CEO Gary Rollins, currently chairman and CEO of its parent company, Rollins Inc., also is a Pest Management Professional Hall of Famer (Class of 2012). From his beginnings as a service technician in 1965 — his father, O. Wayne Rollins, purchased the company from the Orkin family in 1964 — Rollins has been witness to, and later initiated many philanthropic programs for both the industry and the greater community. In this circa-2000 photo, he holds a toy model of the “Otto The Orkin Man” wagon from the company’s humble beginnings.
The company’s many charitable and outreach initiatives have their roots in the generous nature of Otto Orkin (1885-1968). A Latvian immigrant, this PMP Hall of Famer (Class of 1999) founded his namesake company at the age of 16. He was frugal in his personal life, but ensured employees were treated well and was known for his philanthropy.
Orkin, pictured at right, was known for his industry education generosity, too. Here, circa late 1950s, he awards $300 to University of Florida student Howard Jones as an unidentified gentleman looks on.
Brian Frail, an inspector for Orkin’s Jonesborough, Tenn., branch, joined other Orkin employees in their support of the company’s partnership with the American Red Cross this year. Orkin’s “SleevesUp” campaign was part of a larger, company-wide initiative focusing on mosquito awareness and prevention.
Orkin President Freeman Elliott, left, holds the $120,000 donation check with American Red Cross VP of Development Mike Ryan.